Digital ruble – what is it? / Hebrew

Digital ruble – what is it? / Hebrew

Photo: https://ua.freepik.com/author/ededchechine

Changes to the digital ruble came into effect in Russia on August 1. As reported by the Central Bank, only a limited circle of customers and employees of large credit organizations will participate in the testing of the new form of the national currency. Doctor of Economic Sciences, Zhanna Mingalova, professor of the Department of Economics and Management of Industrial Production at the Perm Polytechnic explained how does the digital ruble differ from a cashless one and what are the advantages and disadvantages of using it.

The digital ruble is an electronic version of the ruble. It is an additional form of display of already existing cash and non-cash money in the form of a digital code. The digital ruble will be issued (circulated) by the Bank of Russia in digital form, and this digital code will be stored in the CPU. Since this is a digital form of funds already existing and owned by the client (individual or organization), the transfer of non-cash and cash rubles to digital ones will be made in a 1:1 ratio without a commission. The new form of currency will be stored in an electronic wallet on the Bank of Russia platform.

The main differences between the digital ruble and the non-cash ruble are as follows:

1) The digital ruble cannot be used as an accumulation. Interest on the deposit is calculated in non-cash rubles on this occasion, placed in the bank. No interest is accrued on the digital wallet.

2) The digital ruble cannot be used as a means of obtaining a loan and making payments on it. Again, due to the fact that such operations are carried out through the client’s bank account.

3) The digital ruble can only be used as a means of payment. At the same time, in order to carry out payment operations with different categories of counterparties (banks, legal entities and individuals), it will be necessary to open different types of accounts. In addition, a rule was introduced: one client – one account.

— The place of storage of the digital ruble is the Central Bank. Non-cash funds are kept in accounts at specific banks (Sberbank, Tinkoff, Gazprombank, Alfabank, Posta Bank, etc.). And during payment operations, the transfer of non-cash money takes place between different banks. The digital ruble will always be stored in the CPU during any transaction, — explains the Perm Polytechnic expert.

Unlike cryptocurrency, the digital ruble has an official character and is controlled by the Central Bank. The digital ruble can be exchanged for other currencies, but at the exchange rate of the ordinary ruble and if the client has cash or non-cash money.

The digital ruble is provided by the state, in particular by the country’s gold and currency fund. According to the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, the gold and foreign exchange fund of Russia as of July 2023 amounted to $595.9 billion, which is slightly less than its size in mid-February 2022 ($643.2 billion). Moreover, this is the real amount of gold and currency reserves that are in the Central Bank of the Russian Federation, and not in foreign banks. The structure of the country’s gold and currency fund in July 2023 consisted of foreign currency assets, mainly yuan (71.5%), monetary gold (23.6%), special borrowing rights, a reserve position in the IMF and other reserve assets (4.9% ) ).

A negative impact on the stability of the national currency from “frozen” gold and foreign currency reserves of Russia in foreign banks has not yet been observed. According to foreign sources, the size of the country’s international assets held in foreign banks at the beginning of March 2022 was about $300 billion. However, during the year, the majority of these funds were never found by foreign regulators. According to data from the Bloomberg agency, by the beginning of 2023, the European Union authorities had reliable data on the freezing of Russian assets of only $36.4 billion, while their total amount on accounts in the EU at the beginning of March 2022 was estimated at $258 billion.

At the same time, according to the calculations of all leading international financial regulators (the World Bank and the Basil Committee), Russia continues to occupy the fourth place in the world in terms of gold and foreign exchange reserves: China is in first place ($3.31 trillion), Japan is in second place ($1.254 trillion) ). , in third place – Switzerland ($834.26 billion). At the same time, international assets decreased in all leading countries, not only in Russia. Thus, in 2022, gold and foreign exchange reserves in Switzerland decreased by $186 billion, in Japan – by $134 billion, and in China – by $120 billion. The five countries with the largest decrease in gold and foreign exchange reserves in 2022 also included Singapore – a decrease of $128 billion, and Hong Kong with a decrease in international assets by $73 billion. In total, in 2022, gold and foreign exchange reserves in the world decreased by $1 trillion.

— Thus, the “freezing” abroad of a part of the country’s gold and foreign exchange reserves and global trends in this area of ​​strong influence on the stability of the Russian ruble, and the digital ruble, in particular, will not be affected, shares the opinion. expert of Perm Polytechnic.

The doctor of economic sciences adds that the appearance of the digital ruble is not connected with the devaluation of the currency. The digital ruble is necessary, first of all, to protect the funds of citizens and businesses from fraud, embezzlement, illegal transactions, and even to increase general control over large transactions. All transactions with the digital ruble will be controlled by the Central Bank. Digital money from an electronic wallet is protected from theft. Even if the digital ruble payment is made through a regular bank, the digital ruble still remains in the electronic wallet, under the control of the CPU, which minimizes the risk of funds being stolen. At the same time, the owner of the digital ruble can use it at any time in cash or non-cash form.

— The stabilization of the exchange rate of the national monetary unit is influenced by the state of the economy and the currency policy of the state, and not by the presence of several forms of currency, — Zhanna Mingalova notes.

What is the difference between a personal account and a digital wallet? A personal bank account is an identifier of a natural person-client of the bank, which is used for recording wages and financial payments, paying bills, goods and services, storing money and obtaining loans. The personal account is connected to the client’s current (bank) account, where the money is actually stored.

A digital wallet is an account that is opened in one of the payment services (not in a bank) and is designed to carry out income (deposit funds) and expenditure (pay for purchases) operations. Customers deposit money into the wallet directly or connect their bank account to it for one or more transactions. The advantages of the wallet are that it is a convenient and fast tool for making online payments. In addition, access to the wallet can be carried out through any bank that serves the client.

Zhanna Mingalova explains, that an important difference between these financial instruments is that in a digital wallet, money is stored in a bank, and a special computer program. In addition, with the help of the wallet, you cannot receive a salary, you cannot take a loan, etc., that is, perform all operations available to a bank client and a bank account. The digital wallet in the Central Bank of the Russian Federation is an alternative to those payment systems in which the turnover of funds takes place virtually. Banks are only “connected” to such systems.

The Bank of Russia believes that the introduction of the digital ruble will help increase competition in the financial market. However, notes the Perm Polytechnic expert, it is impossible to talk about significant changes in the dynamics of competition. In this case, it can only be about the segment of payment operations in the national currency. In the process of developing the payment system using the digital ruble, a new payment infrastructure will be created that will allow making payments without using Internet access. This will in a certain way expand the possibilities and simplify the procedure for making cross-border payments.

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